Kobe Bryant fans were treated to yet another surprising story about his competitive spirit.
During an interview with ESPN commentator Chiney Ogwumike on Instagram Live on Wednesday (April 1), Seattle Storm star Sue Bird shared a story about the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where she first met Bryant.
Bird described a moment where the NBA legend saw a newspaper with a picture of Boston Celtics star Paul Pierce celebrating. Bryant and the Los Angeles Lakers had just come off their 2008 NBA Finals loss to the Celtics.
“He didn’t say a word,” the WNBA star said in the interview. “He didn’t say anything. We saw him take the paper, he started cutting out the Paul Pierce picture, he folded it up, he put it in his pocket. And he was like, ‘Motivation.’”
“And we were like, ‘Oohhhh.’ It never stops with him,” she continued. “You could just tell.”
After discussing Bryant’s Mamba mentality, Bird also shared how she admired his support of girl’s and women’s basketball through his 13-year-old daughter Gianna, explaining that he wanted her to have the same opportunities he had.
Kobe, Gianna and seven others died on January 26 in a tragic helicopter crash in California. The NBA community still mourns the heartbreaking loss and continues to share stories of the Lakers legend.
Watch Sue Bird’s full Kobe Bryant story below.
(Photo by Leon Bennett, GABRIEL BOUYS/AFP via Getty Images)